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Taking Care of Your Plants While on Holiday


There is nothing that we love more than a summer holiday. The planning begins: pack your bags, schedule your dog sitter, and get the perfect swimsuit. What’s one thing that might slip your attention until the last minute? The plants!


Leaving your plants behind can be a significant source of anxiety and preoccupation while you’re away. How can you care for your plants while you’re on summer holiday?



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Asking A Friend to Care for Your Plants During Your Summer Holiday


Do you have a friend who is a fellow plant collector? They can prove to be an asset when you go on holiday. There are a few different ways your friend can assist: they can either visit your home weekly or incorporate your plant collection into their home. How can you make a success of these options?

At Your House

No matter how extensive your friend’s plant collection is or how experienced they are, they will still need to learn about how you care for your plants. The environment in your home is also different: window and vent placement, which play a large part in watering frequency. Follow these steps to give your friend the assistance they need to care for your plants while you’re on summer holiday:


  1. Ensure that your plants are healthy. If not, alert your friend to any special care needs. This will alleviate any guilt that may come if your plant’s health continues to decline while you’re away.

  2. Categorize your plants by grouping them according to water requirements. Water is an essential part of caring for your plants during the summer months, whether you’re on holiday or not. Grouping plants together in large clusters will also improve ambient humidity and help your plants stay moist longer.

  3. Provide hints or nametags on blank, wooden popsicle sticks. Hints can include short instructions, such as how many inches of soil should dry out or how frequently to fertilize. For a large collection, these can serve as name tags, identifying the type of plant so your friend can consult further instructions:

  4. Make a video with a brief outline of each plant’s needs, like: How much should the soil dry out? Are the leaves an indicator if the plant is dehydrated? Include any tricks and hacks that help you care for your plant collection.

  5. Create a spreadsheet with quickly locatable tips and requirements for each plant. Use this in conjunction with name tags for effortless usability.


At Their House

This method is the best option for caring for your plant’s summer needs if you have a small plant collection or are going on an extended holiday. For the best results:


  1. Scout out the best location for your plants by visiting your friend’s home or having a video chat.

  2. Familiarize your friend with your plant’s needs by making a video or spreadsheet with their care requirements.

  3. Ensure that your plants are pest-free so that you do not introduce pests into your friend’s house. If you have infested plants, ensure that your friend can quarantine the plant properly and give it treatment.


Finding a “Professional”

Friends aside, you can also find professional “house sitters,” who specialize in plant and pet care. Additionally, some local pet kennels provide “plant sitting” services, so check the listings in your area. Follow the steps above for the best success.




How You Can Care for Your Plant’s Summer Needs While on Holiday


You can provide your plant with preemptive care for shorter summer holidays to give it the moisture it needs while you are away. See how:



Change Locations

Direct and bright indirect light evaporates moisture rapidly. The more sunlight your plant receives, the more frequently it will need to be watered. By relocating your plant to an area further away from the window, you will “buy” a few extra days before it needs rewatering.


Move your plants to their dimmer location 1-2 weeks before your holiday. Preparing in this way ensures that they will acclimate to their new environment before you leave on holiday (and you can remedy any issues).


Pro Tip: All plants require sunlight to survive. Never place your plants in a room without windows, and never close the curtains entirely.



Self-Watering Methods

Some plants require frequent watering and evenly moist soil, needing water 1-2 times a week. How can you care for these plants while you’re on holiday? With a self-watering system. This method may prove to be so effective that you choose to use it to care for your plant’s summer needs even when you aren’t on holiday.


Pro Tip: Only use a self-watering system with plants that require even moisture. They are not appropriate for use with succulents and other plants that require drier conditions.



Terracotta Stakes

These tools water the soil through osmosis: dry soil draws moisture out of the terracotta tip, which is being moistened by a plastic water bottle. If you choose a large reservoir, the stakes will water your plant’s soil for up to 10 days.



Pots

Self-watering pots are another great option. Potting your plants in self-watering containers is an excellent way to prepare in advance for a holiday. Even if you choose to use more traditional watering methods while you’re at home, the reservoir will be ready to use whenever you decide to go on holiday.



DIY Systems

A few household items can create an uncomplicated self-watering system. What will you need? Your potted plant, a thick book, a container of water, and a shoestring. What do you do next?


  1. Fill your container with water.

  2. Place the jar of water on top of the book.

  3. Put your potted plant on the counter or table, next to the water.

  4. Place the shoestring into the water, ensuring the end touches the jar’s bottom.

  5. Drive the other end of the shoestring into the soil using a clean chopstick. Push at least 3 inches of the string into the dirt.


Make sure to keep your self-watering system out of bright or direct sunlight to avoid evaporation.




Advance planning will ensure that you have the relaxing, anxiety-free summer holiday that you are craving; and that you return home to a well-cared-for plant collection!



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